Book Review: POW! WOW! WORLDWIDE! Volume One
At the tail end of the 21st century, art historians are going to sit down and develop a review of the hundred years that came before, and I wonder how they will interpret the early years. In many ways, street art’s development into contemporary muralism, from renegade, illegal wheatpastes and street painting into public art, is a milestone movement that, even as we speak, is still evolving and gaining traction. This growth spurt has made art more accessible to the public, and this would not have been possible without the POW! WOW! mural festival. From their founding in Hong Kong in 2009 to their annual “pow wow” in Honolulu and international series of satellite festivals, the POW! WOW! brand has helped shape the public’s consciousness of muralism.
POW! WOW! WORLDWIDE! Volume One is the first book to chronicle the landmark festival, with over 250 pages of vibrant color, figuration and skill that has come to be the hallmark of the POW! WOW! aesthetic. What POW! WOW! WORLDWIDE! Volume One really captures is the camaraderie that is still ascendant, a trait that street art festivals around the world have often borrowed from the POW! WOW! format. From known street muralist Tristan Eaton and Tatiana Suarez, to artists more associated with a studio practice, like Audrey Kawasaki and James Jean, the legacy of POW! WOW! Deserves to be in the history books. Here is a start. —Evan Pricco
Book text by Jasper Wong, Paragon Books, https://paragon-books.com/